This exploration of Superman’s arch–foe offers a perspective that readers might not easily square with the criminal mastermind familiar to them. The Luthor to whom readers are introduced early in the issue is a billionaire businessman who, nonetheless, tries to connect personally with a janitor—even taking action to get the employee’s son into an exclusive school (though with Luthor it’s always wise to presume an ulterior motive). By the end of the issue, however, there emerges a more familiar portrait of Luthor, as he contemplates his longtime adversary, whom he sees as a threat to human achievement. Writer Brian Azzarello also contributes an intriguing supporting character in Luthor’s aide de camp, Mona.
Lee Bermejo’s textured rendering—ably enhanced by Dave Stewart’s colors—solidly complements Azzarello’s story, powerfully visualizing Luthor’s perspective, in particular presenting imagery of Superman that reflects his arch–foe’s point of view. However, the “red eyes” visual on The Man of Steel tends to be overused, and it isn’t a likely tactic for Superman (who, in general, tries to instill trust) to use on Luthor, who wouldn’t be intimidated by it, anyway.
— George Nelson
Reprint, circa 2015
Schrijver: Brian Azzarello
Tekenaar: Lee Bermejo